Follow the restoration of Quarry Bank House and the worker's cottage


The restoration and opening of Quarry Bank House and the worker’s cottage will offer a whole experience when you visit. The home lives of the people who worked here will be brought to life and the sharp contrasts between mill owners and workers will be uncovered.

In Quarry Bank House, capital works to restore the fabric of the building will begin in June, by contractors Rosslee, followed by conservation cleaning and furnishing. We will be following this work closely and have hired a film company, Fuzzy Duck, to help us. We will be filming the intricate detailed work and show you how the National Trust hang portraits, install Georgian furniture and carefully clean fixtures and fittings. We will then install creative and interactive displays to invite you to discover the story of Hannah Greg and her family.

In the village, a new welcome hub will be created to expose the hidden past of this now picturesque village. Displays will be installed to enable you to uncover the lives of the people who lived here and more specifically how they lived.

The village remains a living thriving community and the cottages have been updated for modern life. However, one cottage, no. 13 Oak Cottages, a tiny two up two down cottage remains untouched from 1970s and it is this cottage that will be restored. Capital works will begin in June followed by conservation work to delicately restore the rare linoleum and wallpaper. When the cottage opens in the Autumn the small two up two down will be accessible by small guided tours and a guide will bring the story of the house and its residents to life.

Follow our journey below as these special places are transformed.

Scaffolding at the front of Quarry Bank House

5 June: Work has begun

In mid May Rosslee were appointed as the contractors who will be carrying out the restoration work at Quarry Bank House, the worker's cottage and hub. This week the scaffolding was erected ready for them to start the works. We are so excited and can't wait for them to begin.

The worker's cottage parlour before the restoration

19 June: Restoring a worker's cottage

Here is the front room of the worker's cottage prior to the restoration work starting. The contractors are preparing to make repairs to the walls, the floors and all the services to make it ready for you to enjoy this Autumn.

Restoring the original floorboards at Quarry Bank House

24 July: Restoring the floor in Quarry Bank House

Work is well underway in Quarry Bank House and Cliveden Conservation have been on site to look at the state of the floor. They have lifted the beautiful large tiles in the stairway to uncover the original floorboards. All the tiles have been meticulously cleaned and labelled in order for them to be put back in the exact same location. The floorboards have then been structurally checked and repaired. The conservators are now carefully repositioning the tiles ready for when the house opens in the Autumn.

Waxing the floors in Quarry Bank House

1 August: All hands on deck

Before decorating work can begin in the beautiful dining room in Quarry Bank House we need to prepare the floor. As well as having a floor covering throughout the works, the floor is being waxed to stop dust and dirt becoming embedded in the wood. The floor will have a few more coats before the house opens this Autumn.

Fragment of original wallpaper in the worker's cottage at Quarry Bank

8 August: Fragments of history

The worker's cottage has been home to many people over the years, each adding their own personal decoration. In some rooms there are layers of paper dating from the nineteenth century that we need to look after.Today, paper conservator, Graeme Storey, has been working in the cottage to repair this wallpaper. Come and see this history when you visit this Autumn.

The Archive team are busy cleaning the worker's cottage

1 September: The conservation deep clean is underway

Now that the restoration works are complete our archive team are busy giving the worker's cottage a thorough deep clean. A mix of specially trained staff and volunteers will be spending time painstakingly cleaning the wallpaper, floors, nooks and crannies ready for the houses to open this autumn.

Visitors on a tour of the worker's cottage

27 September: Styal village hub and the worker's cottage open

Styal village hub and the worker's cottage have opened to visitors. Inside the hub a permanent exhibition explores life in Styal, with a video that explains how we restored the worker's cottage. Tours of the cottage are limited to eight people per tour due to its small size. On the tour you can find out about past tenants of this remarkable home, and compare life now to life in the nineteenth century.

The entrance hall at Quarry Bank House

9 October: Gas works delay opening of Quarry Bank House

Issues with the gas supply to Quarry Bank House have created an unexpected delay to the opening date. Cadent are working quickly to resolve the issue. The house is anticipated to open in the week of the 16 October, with some of the furniture installed. The delicate nature of the collection items, including the portraits of Samuel and Hannah Greg, means that the curatorial team must wait for the temperature and humidity in the house to settle before installing them. As a consequence, the collection portraits and some of the furniture won't be put into the house until mid-November.

Visitors enjoying the view from the drawing room window in Quarry Bank House

18 October: Quarry Bank House opens to visitors

The house has opened for the very first time to visitors. Step inside to explore the world of Hannah Greg. You can discover her philosophies of learning and self-improvement and see for yourself the sanctuary she created for herself and her family.